• angioedema;
  • attenuated androgens;
  • C1 inhibitor;
  • tranexamic acid

To cite this article: Zanichelli A, Vacchini R, Badini M, Penna V, Cicardi M. Standard care impact on angioedema because of hereditary C1 inhibitor deficiency: a 21-month prospective study in a cohort of 103 patients. Allergy 2011; 66: 192–196.


Background:  Hereditary angioedema (HAE) due to the deficiency of C1 inhibitor (C1-INH) causes chronically recurrent cutaneous, abdominal and laryngeal angioedema that are disabling and potentially life-threatening.

Objective:  We designed a prospective study to quantify the residual disease in patients with HAE treated according to the existing consensus documents.

Methods:  Data were collected from diaries recording occurrence, duration, location and treatment of acute angioedema attacks. A total of 386 semesters properly completed were analyzed. Forty-seven of 103 patients were on prophylactic treatment, 41 with attenuated androgens and six with tranexamic acid. A total of 1532 angioedema attacks (one every 45.3 days) were registered.

Results:  Peripheral attacks were the most frequent (698), followed by abdominal (503) and combined locations (232), laryngeal edema was less common (99). Patients on prophylaxis with attenuated androgens had 7.7 attacks/year lasting 1.47 days, those on tranexamic acid had 8.1 attacks/year lasting 1.59 days, and those without prophylaxis had 8.9 attacks/year lasting 1.68. Plasma-derived C1-INH was used by 44 patients to treat a total of 376 acute attacks that resolved faster (1.1 day) than those not treated (1.85 day) or treated with tranexamic acid (1.79 day). No adverse events related to C1-INH infusion were reported.

Conclusion:  Our data demonstrate that tranexamic acid is not effective in the treatment of acute attacks and indicate that under the current therapeutic approach, the HAE related disability is effectively but partially reduced. Incomplete success does not appear to depend on limited efficacy of the drugs but on their limited use that can be overcome by implementing specific treatment strategies.